Men's Hoops Falls to Syracuse in Big East Quarterfinals
March 5, 1998
NEW YORK (AP) - Second-seeded Syracuse didn't have a field goal over the final 4:13 Thursday night but was 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the last 37 seconds to hold off Villanova 69-66 in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.
The 22nd-ranked Orangemen (23-7) will play the St. John's-Boston College winner in Friday night's semifinals.
Todd Burgan had 18 points, Ryan Blackwell had 16 points and 16 rebounds and Marius Janulis had 16 points for Syracuse, which pulled away from a 53-53 tie with a 10-2 run.
Janulis' layup with 4:13 to play was the last field goal for the Orangemen and Jason Hart's free throw 34 seconds later gave them a 63-55 lead.
Seventh-seeded Villanova (12-17), which beat Pittsburgh in double overtime in the opening round, got within 63-60 on a three-point play by Celestand and a dunk after a steal by Brian Lynch with 2:38 left.
Hart made two free throws with 37 seconds left and John Celestand, who finished with 23 points, hit a 3 nine seconds later to bring the Wildcats within 65-63. Blackwell then made four straight free throws to offset a 3-pointer by Lynch with 3.3 seconds left.
Howard Brown, who won the Pittsburgh game on Wednesday night with a 3 at the second overtime buzzer, had 18 points.
It was the ninth time the schools have met in the Big East tournament and Syracuse holds a 7-2 advantage in the series. Villanova won last season's quarterfinal matchup.